The State Minister for Economic Monitoring, Peter Ogwang has said government will continue supporting medical workers throughout the country in a bid to improve their welfare.
“I have picked the challenges like funding that I will put in my report to be addressed to the president and the entire cabinet,”Ogwang said.
“These housing units are in the NRM manifesto of providing decent accommodation for health workers and I am happy the project is moving on well.”
He was on Wednesday inspecting the construction works for the shs30.2 billion housing units for nurses at Mulago National referral hospital.
The minister said as part of his ministry’s mandate, he will always do spot checks on ongoing government projects to pick challenges but also monitor their implementation.
“I introduced a dashboard in my ministry to help me monitor all government projects. It is important to know whether they are on schedule or not but also see whether the entities we give money to implement programs use it as required,” he added.
According to the minister, by inspecting several government projects, his ministry would help point out areas that need address.
“We should not wait for the Auditor General to point out unimplemented programs or money sent to do different programs and it is not utilized for what it was meant to do. By carrying out inspections and doing quarterly reviews of the performance of the budget, we can sort out problems early enough.”
Speaking about the project, the Mulago National Referral hospital Executive Director, Dr. Baterana Byarugaba said government was moved by the need to ensure nurses and all health workers sleep near their jobs to construct the housing units.
“The Covid pandemic and its effects like the lockdown saw health workers get challenges to come to work. With these housing units, they will be staying near their places of work and easy for them to report to work,” Baterana said.
He however descried the lack of funding that saw Mulago pay only 14% instead of 30% as advance payment to the contractor, noting that lack of enough government funding will delay the project.
“Out of the shs30.2 billion, we can only pay sh5 billion in a financial year to the contract and if we go by that rate, we can only finish the money in six years and hence delaying the project.”
He noted that the 150 one bedroom units will accommodate 150 nurses as government looks for more money to construct more units for more than 4000 health workers.